Topic “Christmas”

BIFFmas Gift Exchange 2009

Table of GiftsThe Christmas season is upon us. Although the commercial trappings hit the stores before the Halloween ghouls finished their hauntings, I've managed to avoid the claptrap. It isn't that I'm anti-Christmas, I'm just anti-soul sucking, brainwashing, buy, buy, buy commercial bullshit.

Tonight was the first true event of the season for me, the BIFF gift exchange. Just a bunch of Science Fiction/Fantasy fans enjoying dinner, geeking out on their favourite subjects, and exchanging inexpensive gifts in a cut-throat (but fun) kind of way! The gift exchange was the kind where you can "steal" someone else's gift.

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Why a Vernon Christmas Rocks

Cappuccino by MaureenTraveling any distance in the winter, especially during the holidays, is seldom worry or hassle free. In spite of this, I become part of the thronging masses that join their family for Christmas. In no particular order, here are some of my reasons.

My sister makes a great cappuccino

There's a love of espresso in 2 of the 3 sibs, as well as my sister's husband (who also makes a good cappuccino). Getting a cappuccino in the morning might seem like a small thing, but it provides great pleasure.

Doing the bookstore crawl

I've talked about this before in my Easter 2008 post. Vernon has a couple of used book stores I enjoy visiting. My Dad usually joins me, or maybe I'm joining him. This year the power was out at the Book Nook because of some building power issue. The owner apologized and said he had a flashlight if we still wanted to look around. Indeed we did! My Dad scored a Louis L'Amour novel he hadn't read, a rare occurrence, and I found some interesting sci-fi.

Taking the dog for walk

I would love to have a dog. Since my apartment doesn't allow it and I'm not sure I could properly look after one on my own, I live vicariously through other dog owners. This is Nikita, my sister's dog. It took a long time for Nikita to warm up to me, she is generally skittish around men, but now we're walking buddies. It's too much fun watching her enthusiastically sniff out game. Too bad that bastard holding the lease won't let go.

Dale and Nikita Nikita spots a bird

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Going Greyhound at Christmas

Greyhound Bus
Photo by tyfn
In all this snow my car stubbed its toe, which is to say I slid into a curb going down a side street hill. Sometimes going slow with winter tires isn't enough. Though I wish it hadn't happened I'm never-the-less happy it wasn't worse. I could have slid into another car or, God forbid, a person (though the latter was unlikely on a back street during a snow storm at 11:30pm). Getting this aftermath cleared up turned into a minor saga and resulted in my "going Greyhound" for the annual Vernon Christmas trek.

The Good

  • Can sleep or doze
  • If bad road conditions, someone else is worrying about them
  • Can read, sort of (see The Bad)
  • Bathroom
  • Bigger vehicle, better traction, better accident survivability
  • Great view out of a window seat, nice and high

The Bad

  • Sardine seats, so squished you can't work on a laptop, or barely hold a book in front of you to read
  • Takes longer to get to destination
  • Sardine seats
  • On just the cost of gas, is not cheaper than driving, even with a single person
  • Sardine seats
  • Sometimes crying kids
  • Sardine seats
  • Asshats with loud personal audio gear
  • Sardine seats
  • Have added time, cost and hassle of getting to/from the bus terminal

Have you picked out my biggest complaint? I may not have a big readership, but you're a clever bunch!

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Merry BIFFmas 2008

Last night was the Christmas gift exchange at BIFF. I don't go as often as I used to, so was happy I could make it yesterday. It's been a while seen I've seen many of the gang. We laughed a lot exchanging gifts with the "unwrap a new pressie or steal someone elses" method.

Here we are at the end of the evening when the smoke cleared and the last gift was stolen, er, unwrapped. And no, although there were plenty of offers of adoption, baby Inara wasn't one of the gifts exchanged. Her parents obtained her the usual way.

BIFF Christmas Gift Exchange 2008

I wound up with a new set of D&D dice. I originally went for (stole) the Serenity book, but it was stolen away (back) late in the exchange. My current D20 is quite fickle and has rolled low a few too many times, and there was Spacepug with a shiny new set of dice. After test rolling them a couple times - test driving gifts, what a concept - stealing them seemed like the right thing to do. They feel like winners!

Christmas "Notes"

Newest Guitar HeroDoing the extended family thing for Christmas. One house, three generations.

We open our presents on Christmas day. Now that my niece and nephew are grown the early morning wake-up pressure is gone. Being teenagers, they're usually the last ones up. Works for me. I like getting my shower and morning coffee in before the wrapping paper flys.

This year's winning gift, with no serious competition, is Guitar Hero III. What a hell of a lot of fun! Technically it's my nephews, he's the one with the XBox 360. Poor bastard, he's had to share with two out of the three generations in the house. My folks were curious, but didn't have any interest in playing. The teens and forty-somethings are all waiting their turns to rock out. I checked the website and it's available for the Wii. I see one in my future.

I hope your Christmas and/or holiday is equally as fun, however you're celebrating it.

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